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Stylish Strategies for Open Shelving

When given the choice between open or hidden storage, most people choose the latter.  The rationale behind closed door storage is that mass amounts of material can be hidden from view, and closed storage certainly is a premium for the non attractive things we need from day to day or require as the seasons change. 

However when it comes to your keepsakes and memorabilia, displaying your favorites out in the open allows you to appreciate them on a daily basis, and also communicates to visitors your personal taste and sense of style.  Here are five great strategies for displaying your personal things out in the open.  

A Curated Collection.   Open shelves are the perfect opportunity to place your passionate pursuit on display.  Avoid the temptation to scatter your collection around the house and instead gather your objects together on one unit, displaying them at different heights and angles for all to appreciate.   

open metal shelving with cameras bhg

 

Subtle Shapes.  Geometry is your best friend when layering similar objects out in the open.  Notice how the individual pieces of coral on these shelves are placed in a diamond shape, and how the silver objects form an invisible triangle.   By making shapes up and down the shelving, you lay a foundation for order within your display.      

built in shelving dining room bhg

    

Group and Gather.   If closet or pantry space is limited, you can organize kitchen or other home goods effectively when you gather like objects closely together and in larger quantities, such as the bottles, dishes, and utensils cleverly grouped on this open metal shelf unit. 

open metal pantry shelving  bhg

   

Symmetrical Stacks.   When arranging books, consider laying them one way.  The purposeful placement of books stacked symmetrically creates a calming backdrop on a large freestanding shelf unit.  

stacked books bhg

    

Palette Precision.  Sticking to one medley of colors (pick only two or three) allows you to mix and mingle objects freely.  It doesn’t matter if they’re organizational or decorative if all of the objects on display wear hues from the same color family.  

blue and green palette bhg

 

How do you artfully organize and arrange your collections and memorabilia in open view?

 

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7 Spaces for Built-In Benches

We installed a built-in window seat in our home a few months ago and we’re loving the comfort it brings, plus the bonus of additional storage below.  Built-in benches have a way of communicating to everyone “it’s time to sit and stay awhile” and they always make a home feel more welcoming. 

There are plenty of places to squeeze in a built-in bench, whether it’s one you install yourself or hire out with the service of a professional.  Either way, the end result is a cozy place to sit and get comfortable.   Here are seven different spaces to consider for including a built-in bench in your own home.  

The entry is a perfect place for a built-in – squeeze it in underneath the stairs as a place to store outerwear or as a perch for removing shoes.

bench under stairs bhg

 

A perfect way to start your day is curled up in a cozy bench that is built into a breakfast nook.  Pull up a table and a few chairs and the space becomes an instant gathering spot for breakfast or brunch.   

built in dining nook bench bhg

 

Bathrooms are another place to wedge a small built in bench for the purpose of daily grooming.

 

built in bathroom bench bhg

 

I’ve mentioned before the benefits of a multitasking mudroom.  Large or small, a built in bench is a natural fit in a space designed for transitioning from indoors to out.  

 

mud rom build in bench bhg

 

A nook with a window seat in a bedroom is desirable to most.   If space permits, consider adding a built in bench to a niche to encourage lounging and daydreaming in a bedroom retreat.

 

built in window seat bhg

 

A main living space will certainly benefit from a window seat bench where you can add decorative pillows and store reading material nearby. 

 

living area built in bench bhg

 

Last but never least, don’t forget the great outdoors!  Something as simple as stacked cinderblock can become a perch for lounging on lazy summer afternoons. 

 

cement block bench bhg

 

Do you have the good fortune of a built-in bench in your home?  Where is it and how much do you love it?

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Open Shelving in Kitchens: 7 Different Looks

There’s a new movement in kitchen design when it comes to storage and display and that is the replacement of solid upper cabinetry with open shelving, typically in the form of floating shelves or ones supported by brackets.

Many homeowners are embracing this idea in their own kitchens and the look is becoming less of a trend and more of a lifestyle choice.  Here are seven different ways you to can incorporate open shelving into your kitchen.

One way to open up without replacing upper cabinetry is to remove the cabinet doors, patch and paint any hinge holes, and experiment with your comfort level where glasses and dishware are out on constant display.

open shelving on upper cabinets bhg

 

Choosing beadboard as a backsplash adds traditional cottage style when installed behind open shelving designed to store everyday dishes.

 

open shelving near sink bhg

 

Carved brackets add architectural interest to kitchens with open shelving.  Paint them in a welcoming color to complement your white and colored glass collection.

 

painted open shelving with brackets bhg

 

As an alternative to high contrast paint, choose a finish on the shelving that is similar to the wall like this display of wood tone shelving against whitewashed paneling.  The blended combination allows the dishes and art to take the spotlight.

 

wood tone open shelving bhg

 

 

The use of stainless steel for open shelving injects a modern vibe into a kitchen space and mimics the look found in many restaurants and cafes.

 

stainless steel open shelves bhg

 

Introduce thick rustic wood planks in the form of floating shelves to add warmth and contrast against cool ceramic tile.

 

rustic floating shelves bhg

 

If your existing upper cabinetry is adjacent to a window, you also have the option of installing boards between them for open storage and to create a space for your favorite dish collection.

 

open shelving over window bhg

 

Have you upgraded your kitchen lately and included open shelving in the design plan?

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Clever Places to Store Crafting Supplies

Hobbies such as crafting, quilting, scrapbooking, card making, and sewing give many the satisfaction of taking a few quiet hours to create something unique with their own hands.  For any enthusiast, the supplies for creative hobbies can quickly takeover storage space in the home, so it’s helpful to have one dedicated zone where all of the necessities can be corralled in one place.  Here’s a peek at several clever places to store scrapbooking or crafting supplies around the house. 

A Crafting Closet.  Tuck supplies into assorted boxes and store them inside a spare closet keeping small essentials organized in labeled plastic bins or colorful cardboard boxes. 

craft storage in closet bhg

 

craft room in closet bhg

 

Desk + Hutch.   A desk with small drawers provides storage for all of the smaller crafting essentials plus the added bonus of a horizontal workspace, while a hutch provides ready-to-go supplies that are within arms reach. 

 

craft desk and hutch bhg

 

 

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Multitasking Mudrooms

One thing I long for in our home is a larger space I can officially call a “mudroom”.  We have a very small closet near our back entry and we use it as a place to kick off our shoes or hang up coats, but it would be really nice to have a unique space dedicated solely to the task of corralling all of our shoes, boots, and outerwear each day.

A true mudroom is a dream come true for many families with children enrolled in sports or involved in the daily activities of coming and going from school.  What are the essentials for any multitasking mudroom space?  Here are five of my favorites.

Bins and Baskets in Lockers or Cubbies.   A labeled basket and locker or cubby specified for each family member is a great way to keep it all organized!  Avoid the frantic search for jackets, shoes, or backpacks when everyone has a space of their own.

 

cubbies and striped baskets bhg

 

baskets in mudroom bhg

 

rolling bins and shelving bhg

 

Handy Hooks for Hanging.  Hooks maximize the use of vertical wall space and provide grab and go convenience for when you’re ready to head out the door.

 

hooks in entry bhg

 

hooks in the mudroom bhg

   

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10 Small Space Home Offices

It’s so nice to have a separate room dedicated solely to a home office, however the luxury of that extra square footage isn’t possible for everyone.  We all face the daily obligations of responding to email or bill paying, so a space for a home office makes sense for most of us.  Here are ten ideas for setting up a home office absent a room solely dedicated to the task.

1.  The Secretary.   How tidy is this solution?  A portable piece of furniture like an armoire or secretary allows you to store supplies for correspondence and then close it up at day’s end when your tasks are complete.

 

secretary home office bhg

 

2.  The Corner.     Truth is, corners exist in every room, right?   Take a look around and ask yourself, is there one corner where you could add some upper cabinets and a desk below?  If so, that’s the place to insert a home office!

 

corner home office bhg

 

3.  The Alcove.   A narrow space that includes shelves and a desk becomes a stylish work station with room for storage behind a pretty fabric skirt.

 

alcove office bhg

4.  The Cart.   Portability is a bonus with this setup!   If space permits, wheel it into a closet or spare room so it disappears when visitors arrive.

 

cart home office bhg

 

5.  The Wall.   An office can be created virtually anywhere along a blank wall, whether it’s the top of the stairs or a wide hallway.

 

blank wall two desks bhg

 

6.  The Dining Room.   In any home with a formal dining room, consider using it as a home office/library instead.  Store your books on shelves along walls and treat it as a library and home office by day.  A table in the center can easily be set for guests when its time to entertain and serve a meal.

 dining room library office bhg

 

7.   The Kitchen.   Tucked away in a kitchen, a home office in this zone allows you to keep an eye on the spaghetti as you socialize online or search for new recipes.

 

kitchen nook home office bhg

 

8.  The Craft Zone.  Have you dedicated a space in your home to your creative side?  Fantastic!  Why not incorporate some office supplies too, adjacent to your laptop.  Scrapbook, craft, and pay bills all at the same time with a multitasking zone like this.

 

craft room home office bhg

9.  The Niche.   A few square feet can make for a cozy office space, such as this niche with built in cabinetry.  It’s the perfect place to catch up on email and balance the checkbook too.

 

niche home office bhg

 

10.  The Spare.   A guest or spare room is another great place to insert a desk for use by day while visitors use the space to slumber by night.

 

spare room office bhg

Small space living never means you need sacrifice a fully functional home office!  With a little creativity, you can steal some square footage in a corner, niche, or alcove in your home and include a place for a computer and office supplies.

Where have you set up a home office in your home?

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